Category Archives: 1730’s

Item of the Day: The Complete English Tradesman (1732)

Full Title: THE COMPLETE English TRADESMAN: Directing him in the several PARTS and PROGRESSIONS of TRADE. In Two Volumes. VOL. I. In FAMILIAR LETTERS, Treating the several Points necessary to be known by the YOUNGER Tradesman, as well in his Apprenticeship, as on his first Entering upon Business; with regard to Diligence, Over-Trading, Expensive Living, Too-Early Marrying, Diversions, Credit, Partnerships, Compounding, Trading-Frauds, Punctuality, and many other material Subjects. With a SUPPLEMENT; containing farther Useful Instructions to a Tradesman, and brief and plain Specimens of BOOK-KEEPING, &c. VOL. II.  In TWO PARTS: Containing, I. Needful INSTRUCTIONS to the MORE-EXPERIENC’D Tradesman; with regard to Projects, Engrossing, Underselling, Combinations, Leaving off Business, Litigiousness, &c. II. Useful GENERALS in TRADE, describing the Principles and Foundations of the HOME-TRADE of Great Britain, with large TABLES of the British Manufactures, Product, Shipping, Land-Carriage, Importation, Home-Consumption, &c. The Whole calculated for the Use of our Inland Tradesmen, as well in the CITY as in the COUNTRY. The THIRD EDITION. London: Printed for C. Rivington, at the Bible and Crown, in St. Paul’s Church-yard, M.DCC.XXXII. [1732]



THE Title of this Work is an Index of the Performance. It is a collection of useful instructions for a young Tradesman. The world is grown so wise of late, or (if you will) fancy themselves so, and are so opiniatre, as the French well express it, so self-wise, that I expect some will tell us before-hand they know every thing already, and want none of my instructions; and to such indeed these things are not written.

HAD I not seen in a few years experience many young Treadesmen miscarry for want of those very cautions which are here given, I should have thought this work needless also, and I am sure had never gone about to write it; but as the contrary is manifest, I thought, and think still, the world wanted either this, or something better.

AND be it that those unfortunate creatures that have thus blown themselves up in trade have miscarried for want of knowing, or for want of practising what is here offer’d for their direction; whether for want of wit, or by too much wit, the thing is the same, and the direction is equally needful to both.

AN old experienc’d pilot as certainly loses a ship by his assurance and over-confidence of his own knowledge, as a young pilot does by  his ignorance and want of experience; this very thing, as I have been inform’d, was the occasion of the fatal disaster in which Sir Cloudesfly Shovel, and so many hundred brave fellows, lost their lives in amoment upon the rocks of Scilly.

HE that is above informing himself when he is in danger, is above pity when he miscarries: A young Tradesman who sets up thus full of himself, and scorning advice from those who have gone before him, like a horse that rushes into battle, is only fearless of danger becasue he does not understand it.

IF there is not something extraordinary in the temper and genius of the Treadesmen of this age, if there is not something very singular in their customs and methods, their conduct and behaviour in business; also if ther is not seomething different and more dangerous and fatal in the common road of trading, and Tradesmanes management now, than ever was before, what is the reason that there are so many bankrupts and broken Tradesmen now among us, more than ever were known before?

I make no doubt there is as much trade nwo, and as much gotten by trading, as there ever was in this nation, at least in our memory; and, if we allow other people to judge, they will tell us there is much mofe of both: What then must be the reason that the Tradesmen cannot live on their trades, cannot keep open their shops, cannot maintain thmselves and families, as well now as they could before? Something extraordinary must be the case.

THERE must be some failure in the Tradesman, it can be no where else; either he is less sober and less frugal, less cautious of what he does, who he trusts, how he lives, and how he behaves, than Tradesmen use to be; or he is less industrious, less diligent, and takes less care and pains in his business, or something is the matter; it cannot be, but if had the same gain, and only the same expence which the former ages suffer’d Tradesmen to thrive iwth, he would certainly thrive as they did: There must be soemthing out of order in the foundation, he must fail in the essential part, or he would not fail in  his trade: The same causes would have the same effects in all ages; the same gain, and but the same expence, would just leave him in the same place as it would have left his predeccor in the same shop; and yet we see one grow rich,a nd the other starve, under the very same circumstances.

The temper of the times explains the case to every body that pleases but to look into it. The expences of a family are quite different now fromw hat they have been; Tradesmen cannot live as Tradesmen in the same class used to live; custom, and the manner of all the Tradesmen round them, command a difference, and he that will not do as otherd so, is esteem’d as no body among them; and thus the Treadesman is doom’d to ruin by the fate of the times.

In short, ther is a fate upon a Tradesman, either he must yield to the snare of the times, or be the jest of the times; the young Tradesman cannot resist it; he must live as others do, or lose the credit of living, and be run down as if he was broke: In a word, he must spend more than he can afford to spend, and so be undone; or not spend it, and so be undone.

If he lives as others do, he breaks, because he spends more than he gets; if he does not, he breaks too, because he loses hi credit, and that is to lose his trade; What must he do? . . .


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Filed under 1730's, Commerce, Culture, Eighteenth century, Posted by Caroline Fuchs, Trade

Item of the Day: Gay’s Fables [1733]

Full Title: Fables by the late Mr. Gay. In Two Volumes. Glasgow: Printed for Alexander M’ckenzie, [1733].




Remote from cities liv’d a Swain,

Unvex’d with all the cares of gain;

His head was silver’d o’er with age,

And long experience made him sage;

In summer’s heat and winter’s cold

He fed his flock, and penn’d the fold;

His hours in cheerful labour flew,

Nor envy nor ambition knew;

His wisdom and his honest fame

Through all the country rais’d his name. 

           A deep Philosopher (whose rules

Of moral life were drawn from schools)

The Shepherd’s homely cottage sought,

And thus explore’d his reach of thought.

            Whence is thy learning? Hath thy toil

O’er books consum’d the midnight-oil?

Hast thou old Greece and Rome survey’d,

And the vast sense of Plato weigh’d?

Hath Socrates thy soul refin’d,

And hath thou fathom’d Tully’s mind?

Or, like the wise Ulysses thrown

By various fates on realms unknown,

Hast thou through many cities stray’d,

Their customs, laws, and manners weigh’d?

            The Shepherd modestly repley’d.

I ne’er the paths of learning try’d;

Nor have I roam’d in foreign parts

To read mankind, their laws and arts;

For man is practis’d in disguise,

He cheats the most discerning eyes:

Who by that search shall wiser grow,

When we ourselves can never know?

The little knowledge I have gain’d,

Was all from simple nature drain’d;

Hence my life’s maxims took their rise,

Hence grew my settled hate to vice.

            The daily labours of the bee

Awake my soul to industry

Who can observe the careful ant,

And not provide for future want?

My dog (the trustiest of his kind)

With gratitude inflames my mind:

I mark his true, his faithful way,

And in my service copy Tray.

In constancy, and nuptial love,

I learn my duty from the dove.

The hen, who from the chilly air

With pious wing protects her care;

And every fowl that flies at large,

Instructs me in a parent’s charge.

            From nature too I take my rule,

To shun contempt and ridicule.

I never with important air

In conversation over bear.

Can grave and formal pass for wise,

When men the solemn owl despise?

My tongue within my lips I rein;

For who talks much, must talk in vain.

We from the wordy torrent fly:

Who listen to the chatt’ring pye?

Nor would I, with felonious flight,

By stealth invade my neighbor’s right.

Rapacious animals we hate:

Kites, hawks, and wolves deserve their fate.

Do not we just abhorrence find

Against the toad and serpent kind:

But envy, calumny, and spite,

Bear stronger venom in their bite.

Thus every object of creation

Can furnish hints to contemplation:

And from the most minute and mean

A virtuous mind can morals gleam.

            Thy fame is just, the sage replies;

Thy virtue proves thee truly wise.

Pride often guides the author’s pen,

Books as affected are as men:

But he who studies nature’s laws,

From certain truth his maxims draws;

And those, without our schools suffice

To make men moral, good, and wise.


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Filed under 1730's, Literature, Poetry, Posted by Caroline Fuchs

Item of the Day: Georgius Rex (c. 1737)


THE Professions you have lately made in your Letters, of your particular Regard to Me, are so contradictory to your Actions, that I cannot suffer My self to be imposed upon by them. You know very well, you did not give the least Intimation t Me, or to the Queen, that the Princess was with Child, until within a Month of the Birth of the young Princess.

You removed the Princess twice in the Week immediately preceding the Day of her Delivery, from the Place of My Residence, in Expectation (as you voluntarily declar’d) of her Labour; and both Times, upon your Return, you industriously conceal’d from the Knowledge of Me and the Queen, every Circumstance relating to this important Affair: And you, at last, without giving Notice to Me, or to the Queen, precipitately hurried the Princess from Hampton-Court, in a Condition not to be nam’d. After having thus, in Execution of your own determin’d Measures, exposed both the Princess and her Child to the greatest Perils, you now plead Surprize, and Tenderness for the Princess, as the only Motives that occasion’d these repeated Indignities offer’d to Me and the Queen your Mother.

This extravagant and undutiful Behaviour, in so essential a Point, as the Birth of an Heir to My Crown, is such an Evidence of your premeditated Defiance of Me, and such a Contempt of My Authority, and of the natural Right belonging to your Parents, as cannot be excus’d by the pretended Innocence of your Intentions, nor pallitated or disguised by specious Words only, but the whole Tenor of your Conduct, for a considerable Time, has been so entirely void of all real Duty to Me, that I have long had Reason to be highly offended with you: And, until you withdraw your Regard and Confidence from those by whose Instigations and Advice you are directed and encouraged in your unwarrrantable Behaviour to Me, and the the Queen, and until you return to your Duty, you shall not reside in my Palace, which I will not suffer to be made the Resort of them, who, under the Appearance of an Attachment to you, foment the Division which you have made in my Family, and thereby weakened the common Interest of the Whole.

In this Situation I will receive no Reply; but when your Actions manifest a just Sense of your Duty and Submission, that may induce me to pardon what at present I most justly resent.

In the mean Time, it is My Pleasure, that you leave St. James’s, with all your Family, when it can be done without Prejudice or Inconvenience to the Princess.

I shall, for the present, leave to the Princess the Care of my Grand-daughter, until a proper Time calls upon me to consider of her Education.



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Filed under 1730's, England, George II, Great Britain, Posted by Caroline Fuchs, Royal Family

Item of the Day: Reasons for Establishing the Colony of Georgia (1733)

Full Title: Reasons for Establishing the Colony of Georgia, with regard to the Trade of Great Britain, the Increase of our People, and the Employment and Support it will afford to great Numbers of our own Poor, as well as foreign persecuted Protestants. With some Account of the Country, and the Design of the Trustees. By Benjamin Martin, Esq; Second Edition. London: Printed for W. Meadows, at the Angel in Cornhill, MDCCXXXIII.




IT is undoubtedly a self-evident Maxim, that the Wealth of a Nation consists in the Numbers of her People. But this holds true so far only, as Employment is, or can be found for them; if there be any Poor, who do not, or cannot add to the Riches of their Country by Labour, they must lie a dead Weight on the Publick; and as every wise Government, like the Bees, should not suffer any Drones in the State, these Poor should be situated in such Places, where they might be easy themselves, and useful to the Commonwealth. 

IF this can be done by transplanting such as are necessitous and starving here, and consequently unnecessary; it is incumbent on  us, at this Time more particularly, to promote and enlarge our Settlements abroad with unusual Industry, when the Attention of almost all the Powers in Europe is turn’d towards the Improvement of theirs. The French are continually underming us both in the East and West-Indies. The Emperor is attempting the same: Portugal owes her Riches chiefly to her Plantations: Sweden, Denmark, and Germany find themselves poor, because they have none at present, tho’ they abound with laborious Men. The Colonies of Spain supply the Want of Industry in her Natives, and Trade in her Towns: If the Scarcity of her People at home is imputed to them, I think it unjust; it is evidently owing to the Nature of her Government, her Religion, and its Inquisition: As may be seen by Italy, who has no Colonies, yet is thin of Inhabitants, especially in the Pope’s Dominions: And tho’ as rich a Soil as any in the World, yet her People are poor, and the Country in many Places uncultivated, by shutting up those, who would serve their Maker in a better Manner by being industrious, and would be more useful Members of Society as Plowmen than as Monks. IT is at all Times our Interest to naturalize as much as we can the Products of other Countries; especially such as we purchase of Foreigners with ready Money, or otherwise to our Disadvantage; such as are necessary or useful to support, or carry on our Manufactures: Such as we have a great Demand for: And such as we can raise ourselves as good in Kind as any other Country can furnish us with. Because by so doing we not only gain a new Provision for our Poor, and an Increase of our People by increasing their Employment; but by raising such Materials ourselves, our Manufactures come the cheaper to us, whereby we are  enabled to cope with other Nations in foreign Markets, and at the same Time prevent our Home Consumption of them being a Luxury too prejudicial to us.

I HOPE in the following Tract to  make these evidently appear, and shew the Advantages that must accrue to our Trade by establishing the Colony of Georgia. I shall give some Account of the Country, and the Proceedings of the Trustees, and with Candor take Notice of the Objections that are made to this Design, and endeavour to answer them in the clearest and fullest Manner I can. I think it may be proved that we have many, who are, and will be useless at home, and that the settling such a Colony with these, and the foreign persecuted Protestants is consistent with the Interest and Reputation of Great-Britain.TO show the Disadvantage under which we purchase some fo the Products of other Countries, I shall begin with the Italian Trade, the Balance of which is every Year above 300, 000 l. against us, as appears by Accounts taken from the Custom-house Books. And this Balance is occasion’d by the large Importation of Silk, bought there with our ready Money, tho’ we can raise Raw Silk of equal Goodness in Georgia, and are now enabled to work it up here in as great Perfection as the Italians themselves. THAT we can raise it, we have sufficient Proof by an Importation of it from Carolina for several Years, tho’ for want of Hands only to carry it on, the Quantity imported has been too small for any thing more than Trials. With many navigable Rivers for the Convenience of its Trade, the Country is extremely rich and fruitful. It produces white Mulberry-Trees wild, and in great Abundance. The Air, as it is healthy for Man, (the Latitude about 32,) is also proper for the Silk-worms; and as Care is the principal Thing requisite in nourishing and feeding these, every Person from Childhood to old Age can be of Use. But the Goodness of this Silk will appear fully by the following Letter from a Gentleman, whose Name will carry more Weight, than any Thing I can offer in behalf of it. This Letter was written to the Trustees for establishing the Colony. A Copy here of it is here Printed, with the Gentleman’s Leave. . . .   

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Filed under 1730's, Colonial America, Georgia, Great Britain, Posted by Caroline Fuchs

Item of the Day: The Trial of John Peter Zenger (1765)

Full Title:  THE TRIAL OF JOHN PETER ZENGER, Of New-York, Printer: Who was charged with having printed and published a Libel against the Government; and acquitted with A NARRATIVE OF HIS CASE To which is now added, being never printed before, THE TRIAL of Mr. WILLIAM OWEN, Bookseller, near Temple-Bar, Who was also Charged with the Publication of a Libel against the Government; of which he was honourably acquitted by a Jury of Free-born Englishmen, Citizens of London.  London:  Printed for J. Almon, opposite Burlington-House, Piccadilly. MDCCLXV.

The TRIAL of JOHN PETER ZENGER, August 4, 1735.

At a Supreme court of judicature held for the Province of New-York,


The Hon. James De Lancey, Esq; chief justice.

The Hon. Frederick Philipse, Esq; second justice

The court being seated, Zenger was brought in.

. . .

Mr. Attorney-general opened the information, which was as follows:

“New-York, Supreme court.

Of the term of January, in the eighth year of the reign of our sovereign lord king George IId, &c. New-York

Be it remembered, that Richard Bradley, esq; attorney-general of our sovereign lord the king, for the province of New-York, who for our said lord the king in this part prosecutes, in his own proper person comes here into the court of our said lord the king, and for our said lord the king gives the court here to understand and be informed, — that John Peter Zenger, late of the city of New-York, Printer, (being a seditious person, and a frequent printer and publisher of false news and seditious libels, and wickedly and maliciously devising the government of our said lord the king of this his majesty’s province of New-York, under the administration of his excellency William Cosby, Esq; captain-general and governor in chief of the said province, to traduce, scandalize and vilify; and his excellency the said governor, and the ministers and officers of our said lord the king of and for the said province to bring into suspicion and the ill opinion of the subjects of our said lord the king residing within the said province) the twenty-eighth day of January, in the seventh year of the reign of our sovereign lord George the Second, by the grace of God of Great-Britain, France and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, &c. at the city of New-York, did falsely, seditiously and scandalously print and publish, and cause to be printed and published, a certain false malicious seditious, scandalous libel, intituled, the New-York Weekly Journal, containing the freshest advices foreign and domestic; in which libel (of and concerning his excellency the said governor, and the ministers and officers of our said lord the king, of and for the said province) among other things therein contained, are these words:     ‘ Your appearance in print at last gives a pleasure to many, tho’ most with you had come fairly into the open field, and not appeared behind retrenchments made of the supposed laws against libelling, and of what other men have said and done before; these retrenchements, gentlemen, may soon be shewn to you and all men to be weak, and to have neither law nor reason for their foundation, so cannot long stand you in stead:  therefore, you had much better as yet leave them, and come to what the people of this city and province (the city and province of New-York meaning) think are the points in question (to wit) They (the people of the city and province of New-York meaning) think, as matters now stand, that their LIBERTIES and PROPERTIES are precarious, and that SLAVERY is like to be intailed on them and their posterity, if some past things be not amended, and this they collect from many past proceedings. ‘   Meaning many of the past proceedings of his excellency the said governor and of the ministers and officers of our said lord the king, of and for the said province.)  And the said attorney-general of our said lord the king, for our said lord the king, likewise gives the court here to understand and be informed, That the said John Peter Zenger afterwards (to wit) the eighth day of April in the seventh year of the reign of our said lord the king, at the city of New-York aforesaid, did falsely, seditiously and scandalously print and publish, and cause to be printed and published, another false, malicious, seditious, and scandalous libel, intituled, The New-York Weekly Journal, containing the freshest advices foreign and domestic.  In which libel, (of and concerning the government of the province of New-York, and of and concerning his excellency the said governor, and the ministers and officers of our said lord the king, of and for the said province) among other things therein contained, are these words,           ‘ One of our neighbours (one of the inhabitants of New-Jersey meaning) being in company, observing the strangers (some of the inhabitants of New-York meaning) full of complaints, endeavoured to persuade them to remove into Jersey; to which it was replied, that would be leaping out of the frying-pan into the fire; for, says he, we both are under the same governor, (his excellency the said governor meaning) and your assembly have shewn with a witness what is to be expected from them: one that was then moving to Pensilvania, (meaning one that was then removing from New-York, with intent to reside at Pensilvania) to which place several considerable men are removing (from New-York meaning) expressed, in terms very moving, much concern for the circumstances of New-York, (the bad circumstances of the province and the people of New-York meaning) seemed to think them very much owing to the influence that some men (whom he called tools) had in the administration, (meaning the administration of government of the said province of New-York) said he was now going from them, and was not to be hurt by any measures they should take, but could not help having some concern for the welfare of his countrymen, and should be glad to hear that the assembly (meaning the general assembly of the province of New-York) would exert themselves as became them, by shewing that they have the interest of their country more at heart, than the gratification of any private view of any of their members, or being at all affected by the smiles or frowns of a governor, (his excellency the said governor meaning) both which ought equally to be despised, when the interest of their country is at stake.  You, says, he, complain of the lawyers, but I think the law itself is at an end, WE (the people of the province of New-York meaning) See men’s deeds destroyed, judges arbitrarily displaced, New courts erected without consent of the legislature (with the province of New-York meaning) by which it seems to me, trials by juries are taken away when a governor pleases, (His excellency the said governor meaning) Men of known estates denied their votes, contrary to the received practice, the best expositor of any law: Who is then in that province (meaning the province of New-York) that call (can call meaning) any thing he own, or enjoy any liberty (liberty meaning) longer than those in the administration (meaning the administration of government of the said province of New-York) will condescend to let them do it, for which reason I have left it, (the province of New-York meaning) as I believe more will.”  To the great disturbance of the peace of the said province of New-York, to the great scandal of our said lord the king, of his excellency the said governor, and of all others concerned in the administration of the government of the said province, and against the peace of our sovereign lord the king, his crown and dignity, &c.  Whereupon the said attorney-general of our said lord the king, for our said lord the king, prays the advisement of the court here, in the premises, and the due process of the law, against him the said John Peter Zenger, in this part to be done, to answer to our said lord the king of and in the premises, &c.

R. Bradley, attorney-general.”

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Filed under 1730's, Great Britain, Legal, Newspapers, Posted by Rebecca Dresser

Item of the Day: Koran translated by George Sale (1734)

Full Title: The Koran, Commonly called The Alcoran of Mohammed, Translated into English immediately from the Original Arabic; with Explanatory Notes, Taken from the most appoved Commentators. To which is prefixed A Preliminary Discourse. By George Sale, Gent. London: Printed by C. Ackers in St. John’s-Street, for J. Wilcox at Virgil’s Head overagainst the New Church in the Strand, MDCCXXXIV.



I imagine it almost needless either to make an apology for publishing the following Translation, or to go about to prove it a work of use as well as curiosity. They must have a mean opinion of the Christian Religion, or be but ill grounded therein, who can apprehend any danger from so manifest a forgery: and if the religious and civil Institutions of foreign nations are worth our knowldege, those of Mohammed, the lawgiver of the Arabians, and founder of an empire which in less than a century spread itself over a greater part of the world than the Romans were ever masters of, must needs be so; whether we consider their extensive obtaining, or our frequent intercourse with those who are governed thereby. I shall not here enquire into the reasons why the law of Mohammed has met with so unexampled a reception in the world, (for they are greatly deceived who imagine it to have been propagated by the sword alone,) or by what means it came to be embraced by nations which never felt the force of the Mohammedan arms, and even by those which stripped the Arabians of their conquests, and put an end to the sovereignty and very being of their Khalifs: yet it seems as if there was something more than what is vulgarly imagined, in a religion which has made so surprising a progress. But whatever use an impartial version of the Koran may be of in other respects, it is absolutley necessary to undeceive those who, from the ignorant or unfair translations which have appeared, have entertained too favourable an opinion of the original, and also to enable us effectually to expose the imposture; none of those who have hitherto undertaken that province, not excepting Dr. Prideaux himself, having succeeded to the satisfaction of the judicious, for want of being compleat masters of the controversy. The writers of the Romish communion, in particular, are so far from having done any service in their refutations of Mohammedism, that by endeavouring to defend their idolatry and other superstitions, they have contributed to the encrease of that aversion which the Mohammedans in general have to the Christian Religion, and given them great advantages in the dispute. The Protestants alone are able to attack the Koran with success; and for them, I trust, Providence has reserved the glory of its overthrow. In the mean time, if I might presume to lay down rules to be observed by those who attempt the conversion of the Mohammedans, they should be the same which the learned and worthy bishop Kidder has prescribed for the conversion of the Jews, and which may, mutatis mutandis, be equally applied to the former, notwithstanding the despicable opinion that writer, for want of being better acquainted with them, entertained of those people, judging them scarce fit to be argued with. The first of these rules is, To avoid compulsion; which though it be not in our power to employ at present, I hope will not be made use of when it is. The second is, To avoid teaching doctrines against common sense; the Mohammedans not being such fools (whatever we may think of them) as to be gained over this case. The worshipping of images, and the doctrine of transubstantiation are great stumbling blocks to the Mohammedans, and the church which teacheth them is very unfit to bring those people over. The third is, To avoid weak arguments: for the Mohammedans are not to be converted with these, or hard words. We must use them with humanity, and dispute against them with arguments that are proper and cogent. It is certain that many Christians, who have written against them, have been very defective this way: many have used arguments that have no force, and advanced propositons that are void of truth. This method is so far from convincing that it rather serves to harden them. The Mohammedans will be apt to conclude we have little to say, when we urge them with arguemts that are trifling or untrue. We do but lose ground when we do this; and instead of gaining them, we expose ourselves and our cause also. We must not give them ill words neither; but must avoid all reproachful language, all that is sarcastical and biting: this never did good rom pulpit or press. The softest words will make the deepest impression; and if we think it a fault in them to give ill language, we cannot be excused when we imitate them. The fourth rule is, Not to quit any article of the Christian faith to gain the Mohammedans.  It is a fond conceit of the Socinians, that we shall upon their principles be most like to prevail upon the Mohammedans: it is not true in matter of fact. We must not give up any article to gain them: but then the church of Rome ought to part with many practices and some doctrines. We are not to design to gain the Mohammedans over to a system of dogma, but to the ancient and primitive faith. I believe no body will deny but that the rules here laid down are just: the latter part of the third, which alone my design has given me occasion to practice, I think so reasonable, that I have not, in speaking of Mohammed or his Koran, allowed myself use those oppobrious appellations, and unmannerly espressions, which seem to be the strongest argumemts of several who have written against them. On the contrary, I have thought myself obliged to treat both with common decency, and even to approve such particulars as seemed to me to deserve approbation: for how criminal soever Mohammed may have been in imposing a false religion on mankind, the praises due to his real virtues ought not to be denied; nor can I do othewise than applaud the condour of the pious and learned Spanhemius, who, tho’ he owned him to have been a wicked impostor, yet acknowledged him to have been richly furnished with natural endowments, beautiful in his person, of subtle wit, agreeable behavior, shewing liberality to the poor, courtesy to every one, fortitude against his enemies, and above all a high reverence for the name of God; severe against the perjured, adulterers, murtherers, slandereres, prodigals, covetous, false witnesses, &c. a great preacher of patience, charity, mercy, beneficence, gratitude, honouring of parents and superiors, and frequent celebvrator of the divine praises. . . .

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Filed under 1730's, Islam, Koran, Posted by Caroline Fuchs, Religion

Item of the Day: Bailey’s Dictionary (1736)

Full Title:

Dictionarium Britannicum: or a more compleat universal etymological English dictionary than any extant. By Nathan Bailey. Second Edition. London, T. Cox, 1736.

Title Page:

Or a more COMPLEAT
Than any EXTANT

Not only the Words and their Explication; but their Etymologies fron the Antient
British, Teutonick, Dutch Low and High, Old Saxon, German, Danish, Swedish, Norman and Modern French, Italian, Spanish, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, &c. each in its proper Character.

Explaining hard and technical Words, or Terms of Art, in all the ARTS, SCIENCES,
and MYSTERIES following. Together with ACCENTS directing to their proper Pronuntiation, shewing both the Orthography, and the Orthoepia of the English Tongue,


Algebra, Anatomy, Architecture, Arithmetick, Astrology, Astronomy, Botanicks, Catoptricks, Chymistry, Chiromancy, Chirurgery, Confectionary, Cookery, Cosmography, Dialling, Dioptricks, Ethicks, Fishing, Fortification, Fowling, Gardening, Gauging, Geography, Geometry, Grammar, Gunnery, Handicrafts, Hawking, Heraldry, Horsemanship, Hunting, Husbandry, Hydraulicks, Hydrography, Hydrostaticks, Law, Logick, Maritime and Military Affairs, Mathematicks, Mechanicks, Merchandize, Metaphysicks, Meteorology, Navigation, Opticks, Otacousticks, Painting, Perspective, Pharmacy, Philosophy, Physick, Physiognomy, Pyrotechny, Rhetorick, Sculpture, Staticks, Statuary, Surveying, Theology, and Trigonometry.

Illustrated with near Five Hundred CUTS, for giving a clear Idea of
those Figures, not so well apprehended by verbal description.

A Collection and Explanation of English PROVERBS; also of WORDS and PHRASES us’ed in our ancient Charters, Statutes, Writs, Old Records and Processes at Law.


The Iconology, Mythology, Theogony, and Theology of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, &c. being an Account of their Deities, Solemnities, either Religious or Civil, their Divinations, Auguries, Oracles, Hieroglyphicks, and many other curious Matters, necessary to be understood, especially be the Readers of English POETRY.

To which is added,
A Collection of Proper Names of Persons and Places in Great-Britain, &c with their Etymologies and Explications.

The Whole digested into an Alphabetical Order, not only for the Information of the Ignorant, but the Entertainment of the Curious; and also the Benefit of Artificers, Tradesmen, Young Students and Foreigners.

A WORK useful for such as would UNDERSTAND what they READ and HEAR, SPEAK what they MEAN, and WRITE true ENGLISH.



Assisted in the Mathematical Part by G. GORDON; in the Botanical by P. MILLER; and in the Etymological, &c. by T. LEDIARD, Gent. Professor of the Modern Languages in Lower Germany.

L O N D O N:
Printed for T. COX, at the Lamb under the Royal-Exchange.

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Filed under 1730's, Dictionaries, Posted by Carrie Shanafelt

Item of the Day: Moliere in French and English (1732)

Full Title:

Select Comedies of Mr. de Moliere. French and English. In Eight Volumes. With Frontispiece to each Comeddy. To which is Prefix’d a curious Print of the Author, with his Life in French and English. Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Written by Moliere, 1622-1673. French and English on facing pages. Each play has individual title page and pagination. Imprint information and contents from individual title pages. Contents: v. 1. L’avare. The miser. Sganarell, ou le cocu imaginaire. The cuckold in conceit. — v. 2. Le bourgeois gentilhomme. The cit turned gentleman. Le Médecin malgré lui. A doctor and no doctor. — v. 3. L’étourdi, ou les contre-tems. The blunderer, or the counter-plots. Les précieuses ridicules. The conceited ladies. — v. 4. L’école des maris. The school for husbands. L’école des femmes. The school for wives. — v. 5. Tartuffe, ou l’imposteur. Tartuffe, or the imposter. George Dandin, ou le mari confondu. George Dandin, or the husband defeated. — v. 6. Le misantrope. The man-hater. Mondsieur de Pourceaugnac. Squire Lubberly. — v. 7. Amphitrion. Amphitryon. Le mariage forcé. The forc’d marriage. Le Sicilien, ou l’amour peintre. The Sicilian, or love makes a painter. — v. 8. Le malade imaginaire. The hypochondriack. Les fascheux. The impertinents. Printed in London for John Watts at the printing-office in Wild Court near Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 1732.



WHen MAJESTY vouchsafes to Patronize the WISE and the LEARNED, and a QUEEN Recommends KNOWLEDGE and VERTUE to her People, what Blessings may we not promise our selves in such happy Circumstances? That this is the great Intention and Business of Your MAJESTY’S Life, witness the Reception, which the Labours of a Clark, a Newton, a Locke, and a Wollaston have met with from Your MAJESTY, and the immortal Honours You have paid their Names. Whatever therefore can any ways conduce to those glorious Ends, need not question Your Royal Approbation and Favour; and upon this presumption MOLIERE casts himself at Your MAJESTY’s Feet for Protection.

This merry Philosopher, MADAM, hath taken as much Pains to laugh Ignorance and Immorality out of the World, as the other great Sages did to reason ’em out; and as the generality of Mankind can stand an Argument better than a Jest, and bear to be told how good they ought to be, with less Concern than to be shewn how ridiculous they are, his Success, we conceive, has not been much inferior.

Your MAJESTY need not be informed how much the Manners and Conduct of a People are dependent on their Diversions; and You are therefore convinced how necessary it is (since Diversions are necessary) to give ’em such as may serve to polish and reform ’em. With this View, MADAM, was the following Translation undertaken. By a Perusal of these Scenes every Reader will plainly perceive, that Obscenities and Immoralities are no ways necessary to make a diverting Comedy; they’ll learn to distinguish betwixt honest Satire, and scurrilous Invective; betwixt decent Repartee, and tasteless Ribaldry; in short, between vicious Satisfactions and rational Pleasures. And if these Plays should come to be read by the generality of People (as Your MAJESTY’s Approbation will unquestionably make ’em) they’ll by degrees get a more just and refined Taste in their Diversions, be better acquainted, and grow more in love with the true Excellencies of Dramatick Writings. By this means our Poets will be encouraged to aim at those Excellencies, and blush to find themselves so much outdone in Manners and Vertue by their Neighbours. Nay, there’s no Reason can possibly be given, MADAM, why these very Pieces should not most of ’em be brought upon the English Stage. For tho’ our Translation of ’em, as it now stands, may be thought too literal and close for that Purpose, yet the Dramatick Writers might, with very little Pains, so model and adapt them to our Theatre and Age, as to procure ’em all the Success could be wish’d; and we may venture to affirm, that ‘twould turn more to their own Account, and the Satisfaction of their Audiences, than any thing they are able to produce themselves. This too they ought to be the more earnest to attempt, as the most probable Means of drawing down a larger Share of Royal Influence on the Stage, which has been too justly forfeited by the licentious Practice of modern Play-wrights.

We might here, MADAM, take occasion to particularize our Author’s Perfections and Excellencies, but those Your MAJESTY wants no Information of. All we shall therefore observe to Your MAJESTY is, that wherever Learning, Wit, and Politeness flourish, MOLIERE has always has an extraordinary Reputation, and his Plays, which are translated into so many Languages, and acted in so many Nations, will gain him Admission as long as the Stage shall endure. But what will contribute more than all to his Glory and Happiness, will be the Patronage of a British PRINCESS, and the Applause of a British Audience.

We dare not think, MADAM, of offering any thing in this Address that might look like Panegyrick, lest the World should condemn us for meddling with a Task above our Talents, and saying too little — Your MAJESTY, for presuming to say any thing at all. There are many Vertues and Perfections, so very peculiar in Your MAJESTY’s Character, and so rarely found amongst the Politicks of Princes, that they require a masterly and deliberate Hand to do ’em Justice —- Such a Zeal for Religion so moderated by Reason, such a benevolent Study for composing all Factions and Dissensions, such a laudable Ambition, which aims at Power only in order to benefit Mankind, and yet such a glorious Contempt, even of Empire it self, when inconsistent with those Principles whose Truth You were satisfy’d of —— These are such elevated and shining Vertues, as even the vicious themselves must have a secret Veneration for —— But as Your MAJESTY’s great Pleasure is privately to merit Applause, not publickly to receive it; for fear we should interrupt you in that noble Delight, we’ll beg Leave to subscribe Our Selves,

May it please Your Majesty,


Most Obedient,

and most Devoted

Humble Servants,

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Filed under 1730's, Posted by Carrie Shanafelt, Theater

Item of the Day: Voltaire’s Letters Concerning the English Nation (1733) and Bell’s Operative Surgery (1816)

Full Title:

Letters Concerning the English Nation.

Written by Mr. de Voltaire. Contains preface, contents, publisher’s advertisments, “A letter concerning the burning of Altena, as related in the Hisory of Charles XII, King of Sweden,” and index. This translation, often attributed to John Lockman, was published before the French edition. Voltaire’s picture of English life, observed during his two year stay, was of great popular appeal. In this work first appeared the famous anecdote of Newton and the falling apple. Harcourt Brown has argued that more than half of the book was in fact written by Voltaire in English and rewritten by him in French for the French editions. The letters which Brown suggests were written in English (numbers 1-8, 10, 12, 18, 19, 21, and 22) deal predominantly with Voltaire’s personal experiences and observations in England, with literature — Bacon, Swift, Butler, Pope, Waller, Rochester, and the dramatists — and with aspects of public life of his day. The book created such a scandal that it was soon condemned and copies burned by the hangman in June, 1734. A warrant was issued against Voltaire but he succeeded in escaping. Printed in London for C. Davis and A. Lyon, 1733.


Full Title:

A System of Operative Surgery, Founded on the Basis of Anatomy. In Two Volumes. The Second American, from the last London Edition.

Written by Charles Bell, Surgeon of the Middlesex Hospital; Fellow of the Royal Society, and of the Royal College of Surgeons, of Edinburgh; Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of London; Associate of other Learned Bodies; and Reader of Anatomy in the Chair. Two volumes, second edition. Contains preface, contents, introduction, illustrations, plates, “Recommendations ” of this work, preface dated London, 1814. “Of Gunshot Wounds” was first published as part of the second edition of the present work, London, 1814. It was later published separately in the same year “for the accomodation of the purchasers of the former edition” under the title, “A dissertation on gun-shot wounds.” Published in Hartford by George Goodwin and Sons, 1816.

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Filed under 1730's, 1810's, Medicine, Philosophy, Posted by Carrie Shanafelt

Items of the Day: The Koran, trans. Sale (1734) and Dampier’s New Voyage Round the World (1697)

Full Title:

The Koran, Commonly Called The Alcoran of Mohammed, Translated into English immediately from the Original Arabic; with Explanatory Notes, Taken from the Most Approved Commentators. To which is Prefixed A Preliminary Discourse. By George Sale, Gent.

Translated by George Sale (1697?-1736). Includes dedication, note to the reader, table of the sections of preliminary discourse, table of the chapters of the Koran, folded map, folded plan, two folded genealogical tables, preface, and notes. Title page in black and red ink. First edition of Sale’s translation of the Koran (Qur’an), consisting of revelations orally transmitted from the time of Muhammad. This edition is widely considered to be “the best in any language.” Highly praised by Voltaire in the “Dictionnarie Philosophique,” it remained the standard English version for nearly two centuries. Prior to the publication of Sale’s translation, the only text available in English, it appears, was a translation by Alexander Ross of Andrew du Ryer’s translation into French, neither of which was without basic faults. Printed by C. Ackers, for J. Wilcox, 1734.

* * *

Full Title:

A New Voyage Round the World. Describing particularly, The Isthmus of America, several Coasts and Islands in the West Indies, the Isles of Cape Verd, the Passage by Terra del Fuego, the South Sea Coasts of Chili, Peru, and Mexico; the Isle of Guam on to the Ladrones, Mindanao, and other Philippine and East-India Islands near Cambodia, China, Formosa, Luconia, Celebes, &c. New Holland, Sumatra, Nicobar Isles; the Cape of Good Hope, and Santa Hellena. Their Soil, Rivers, Harbours, Plants, Fruits, Animals, and Inhabitants. Their Customs, Religion, Government, Trade, &c. By William Dampier. Illustrated with Particular Maps and Draughts. The Second Edition Corrected.

Written by William Dampier (1652-1715). Includes dedicatory epistle, preface, contents, introduction, and a list of books sold by James Knapton. Fully illustrated, with five maps (four folding). Second edition, corrected. Printed for James Knapton, at the Crown in St Paul’s Church-yard, 1697.

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Filed under 1690's, 1730's, Posted by Carrie Shanafelt, Religion, Travel